17-Jul-2012 -- This is the 8th out of 20 confluence points that I reached on a bicycle trip to the North-East of China. The narrative of the trip starts from 41°N 117°E.
As usual, I had an early start (4:30 AM). From the town Alidearsumu (阿力德尔苏木) it was a pleasant ride on asphalt to the town Solun (索伦镇). Here, I left the asphalt road and headed into the mountains where the confluence is located. Everything went fairly well as long as there were villages on the route. In the last village before the adventure should begin, I had a lunch break and a refill of my water bottles (it was close to 40°C).
But after leaving the last village, the road degraded rapidly and soon was impassible for a normal car. Even a motorbike stranded because the water pools on the road were too deep (and hard to predict before actually entering them). I managed to find my way through by either risking to cycle into the puddles or carrying the bike around. This was slow going, but at least possible. The thing was that the further I got, the worse the water puddles became. It seemed never ending. Only one jeep and I made it through this day.
After four exhausting hours, I had approached the confluence up to a distance of 800 m on the track. I continued riding cross-country towards the confluence point, but soon got stuck in the swamp. So I continued on foot through the swamp, but managed to reach the exact location on an open meadow. Again, as most confluence points during the summer are, the stay on the point wasn’t pleasant due to mosquito plague.
Soon after visiting the confluence point (2.5 km) I reached the top of the mountain pass and descended on the other side. Another three hours of riding on difficult roads, I reached a tiny place called Hamagou (蛤蟆沟林场), where I was able to spend the night.
CP visit details:
- Distance to an asphalt road: 24 km
- Distance to a track: 620 m
- Distance to a footpath: 620 m
- Duration of the hike to reach the CP: 30 minutes
- Distance of bicycle parking: 750 m
- Distance to houses: 2300 m
- Time at the CP: 16:06 PM
- Measured height: 838 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 4 m
- Topography: hilly to mountainous
- Vegetation: grass, herbs, swamp vegetation
- Weather: sunny, 35° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Water Road Confluence
Story continues at 48°N 122°E.